My neck pain is driving me mad. It is getting worse and I’m struggling to cope with it. I’ve been on the verge of tears many time these past few weeks and it is making my back pain even more difficult to manage.
Previously I was told my neck was very tight and I was prescribed diazepam to help relax the muscles. But this medication, like all of them, comes with a mix of pros and cons.
The positives were:
- My pain subsided so they obviously worked.
- My anxiety was reduced.
- I could manage my back pain much easier.
The negatives were:
- This was only a short-term solution as these tablets are addictive.
- I was drowsy, due to it relaxing not only my neck muscles but the whole of me.
- They didn’t fix the problem; just masked it.
I posted on my Instagram page last week that I had to go back to my doctor to get some more help for my neck pain. My doctor prescribed amitriptyline and referred me to see a physio. This was definitely more promising but I forgot to ask how long I’d have to wait for my first appointment.
Due to the side effects of the amitriptyline I was advised to take the tablet at night time. That way I shouldn’t feel too drowsy in the morning. My neck pain was bad so I decided to take a tablet about 4pm and go for a bath – the heat would be soothing and I always feel relaxed. I was so relaxed that I fell asleep 3 times in the bath and I was tucked up in bed by 19:30. 12 hours later I woke up feeling washed out and groggy.
The next night I took my tablet an hour or so before bedtime and didn’t feel as bad the next day. After a few days of this routine I was starting to suffer additional side effects – feeling light-headed, the shakes, and low in mood. The light-headedness was the worst symptom as it came on out the blue. I also have low blood pressure so this was the most worrying and I wondered if it would cause me to pass out. I kept my SHO bottle by my side to help keep my fluids up, stay highdrated, and hopefully keep my blood pressure from falling.
Advice from my GP
I rang my doctor to seek some advice and was told that 2 in 10 people suffer these side effects. It’s a case of giving them a little longer to see if the side effects settle down, or trying an alternative medication. He wasn’t too concerned about the side effects I was describing so this was reassuring.
Taking medication for my neck pain is all well and good if it gets rid of it. But if it causes other symptoms to have to deal with then it’s a case of weighing up the best of two evils. As much as I hate my pain and it’s hard to deal with, I feel more in control if I don’t take medication. The side effects are unpredictable and the constant washed out and drowsiness feelings are difficult to manage on top of my back pain (no medication gets rid of this).
Have you been on amitriptyline before? Did you have any side effects? How did you cope with them?